by Tohru Fujiwara, Hisayuki Yokoyama, Yoko Okitsu, Mayumi Kamata, Noriko Fukuhara, Yasushi Onishi, Shinichi Fujimaki, Shinichiro Takahashi, Kenichi Ishizawa, Emery H. Bresnick, Hideo Harigae
Aplastic anemia is characterized by a reduced hematopoietic stem cell number. Although GATA-2 expression was reported to be decreased in CD34-positive cells in aplastic anemia, many questions remain regarding the intrinsic characteristics of hematopoietic stem cells in this disease. In this study, we identified HOXB4 as a downstream target of GATA-2 based on expression profiling with human cord blood-derived CD34-positive cells infected with control or GATA-2 lentiviral shRNA. To confirm the functional link between GATA-2 and HOXB4, we conducted GATA-2 gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments, and HOXB4 promoter analysis, including luciferase assay, in vitro DNA binding analysis and quantitative ChIP analysis, using K562 and CD34-positive cells. The analyses suggested that GATA-2 directly regulates HOXB4 expression through the GATA sequence in the promoter region. Furthermore, we assessed GATA-2 and HOXB4 expression in CD34-positive cells from patients with aplastic anemia (n?=?10) and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (n?=?13), and demonstrated that the expression levels of HOXB4 and GATA-2 were correlated in these populations (r?=?0.6573, p<0.01). Our results suggested that GATA-2 directly regulates HOXB4 expression in hematopoietic stem cells, which may play an important role in the development and/or progression of aplastic anemia.